Later today Kings Coach Terry Murray will probably tip his hand on which one of his goalies will start on Wednesday night vs. the Chicago Blackhawks. More than likely, that will leave the other guy to start vs. Dallas on Thursday.
Last season Murray had mentioned a preference to start his best line-up in the home game of home-road contests played on consecutive nights. He broke from that formula last week by starting his back-up goalie, Jonathan Bernier, in the first game (at home vs. Carolina) – thus, “saving” Jonathan Quick for the road game in Phoenix the following day. His reason given was the division game was where he wanted to start his #1 goalie.
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The situation this week is somewhat similar, in that one of the back-to-back games is against a division rival. So, you could make the argument to start Quick in Dallas. However, the game vs. Chicago on Wednesday is a bit of a measuring stick game because they’ll be facing the defending Stanley Cup Champions (well, about 2/3 of the team).
For what it’s worth, neither the Stars nor Blackhawks are playing games the days before or after facing the Kings. As such, assume both teams will be starting their top netminder.
Given all that – if you were the coach, what would you do…
[update: Murray has announced he’ll start Bernier vs. the Blackhawks and Quick vs. the Stars. This sticks with his format used last week, where Quick played against the division opponent. The Kings won’t play back-to-back games again until November 19/20, on the road vs. Buffalo and Boston. This is just speculation – however, after tomorrow, Bernier may not start another game until that series – considering that after this week the Kings will only play two games a week for the next two weeks.]